Craterface chat their mix series, ‘The Divine Chatroom’, balancing experimentation and making rap music
Craterface, the Mulubinba / Newcastle via Eora / Sydney alt-rap duo are doing things differently. They embody everything great that the hip-hop genre creates, with their own unique energy. It’s authentic, it’s raw, it’s gritty, it’s deeply honest and fundamentally hip-hop. Structurally too, they meet the genre’s tropes, with mixtape style projects under their belt. They’ve also recently unleashed their mixtape, ‘The Divine Chat Room’. With two episodes down, the duo are about to close off the series with their epic third episode, airing tomorrow night (Thursday the 16th September) at 6pm HERE.
What makes Craterface different is their overt authenticity. They do things on their own terms from their own context. A rap context that’s rarely been seen on the international front. One where two, creative youth embark on their own journey in music, outside of an inner city area, one heavily influenced by the monolith of growing up in the internet era. What’s created is a bombastic collage of hip hop, electronica and peek into their inner psyche through spoken word. The Divine Chatroom mix series represents this ethos stunningly, a true insight and peak into the creative world and vision of Craterface.
On episode 1 they hosted unreleased gems from artists including Behind You, Jair, LOVEDAVID, Babyjack, Yoni Yen and Aquinas. On the second episode they took a more electronic turn, hosting the lieks of 700 Feel, Too Birds and Milk Crate. As the saying goes, all good things come in threes, and the third rendition is set to be the biggest yet featuring Grasps, Henri O.R. Asar and returning guest Jair alongside a guest mix by powerhouse club producer Ninajirachi.
To get to know the stunning creative minds behind the project, we had a conversation with the duo, Taki (producer/additional vocals) and baby bruh (rapper/vocalist) on the creation of the mix series, being defined as rappers, the importance of visuals and everything in between.
How was your creative energy after releasing Burn After Listening. It was such a massive creative effort. Was there difficulty returning to the drawing board after it?
baby bruh: Big Time
Taki: It’s definitely overcoming the idea of having a concept.
baby bruh: Yeah sticking to a concept, and having a concept is definitely hard. It wasn’t hard making music after, it was hard making music that we liked that would fit on a project. The Divine Chatroom series was kind of a way to branch out, but to learn new things and above all else make contact. Try and press the refresh button type shit.
Has that worked so far?
Taki: 100%. We’ve had sick artists on that we love. That’s really all it’s about.
It’s such a classic thing as well, in hip-hop to do the whole mixtape thing. Remixing artists, to showcase your talent.
Taki: I feel like a lot of rappers don’t want to be bundled into hip hop artists or hip hop culture. I feel like that’s the highest of praises, to be called a hip-hop artist.
baby bruh: We mainly did want to do it to as an archival thing. Just like a classic mixtape. Even though it may not be doing what we want it to do, it’s more for later on that we want people want to refer it to, as a reference point to 2021.
The music you make isn’t necessarily rap music. Lot’s of artists hate the term rapper too.
Taki: I think rappers are straight up what we are. I would never want to pretend to be anything else. Of course we don’t want to make standard hip-hop music, we will always try to experiment with it and do our own thing with it. Regardless, it’s still always rap music, because that’s what made us do it in the first place, it’s all we listen to.
baby bruh: The genre is so broad now. Bladee is considered hip-hop.
Do you think it should be considered hip-hop? Should they deserve to be bundled into the monolith genre?
Taki: I feel like genre is totally meaningless. You can throw labels in music, at the end of the day we make what we like the sound of. It happens to be rap music.
When was the idea for The Divine Chatroom born?
baby bruh: It was the day after we did a Parry Talks podcast, and it sort of just made us reflect heaps. We went to get dumplings and we were spitballing ideas. We got a really positive response from our management and we didn’t hold back after that.
Taki: I think because we wanted to sit on ‘Burn After Listening’ for as long as possible without releasing another official release. So it was a great way to put out a lot of the music we make we wont release. Lots of artists have stuff they like that they wouldn’t release as an official song, which made it a good outlet to collaborate on.
baby bruh: That comes back to us not being able to stick to a consistent idea. We can make a heap of good shit, but it wouldn’t fall into a tape, but we still want people to hear it.
Without any copyright issues either.
Taki: We can sample whatever we want.
baby bruh: And technically we still haven’t released anything official either while keeping our momentum up.
Craterface is obviously more than just music. It’s everything, it’s the visual, it’s the aesthetic, it’s the collective. How important are the visuals in evoking a feeling for the mixtapes?
baby bruh: After the music it’s the most important thing. It’s more important than song titles, videos. It represents the songs.
Taki: If you don’t have a cover that aesthetically matches, or evokes the idea of the songs, it’s almost pointless.
baby bruh: That’s why the chat room cover is everything.
Taki: The chatroom cover is spot on with the whole idea of it.
baby bruh: It’s a collage of sounds from the mix and a collage of visuals from the internet.
When does that come into the creative process? Is it after the music is done, before or during?
Taki: Baby bruh does it at the same time that I’m doing the music. Once we had the idea for the whole series, we knew exactly what we wanted to do for the visual side of it.
baby bruh: I’d say typically, about 30% in the creation process i started to get ideas for it and we were super picky. Once you’ve figured that out I think it’s super important, because then you can start to build around the cover.
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How important is it doing it in house?
Taki: One it doesn’t cost anything. Also, nobody knows our shit better than our two brains. In the same way i can mix and master our stuff, Chester (baby bruh) can make the artwork.
baby bruh: I didn’t always do that, and I only learnt just for this purpose/ Now that I know how to do that I don’t really see any other way. There’s no other way for us to convey shit if we are not doing it in house.
How much do you think The Divine Chat room creative process has helped you both as songwriters from a pure skill point of view?
Taki: From my perspective, mixing things together and transitioning things, has made me so much better at it.
baby bruh: on the other side of the coin i’m usually the one talking to other artists, and I’m getting better at collaborating.
In terms of the collaborators what do you think generally the collaborators have in common.
Taki: We really like their music.
baby bruh: Nothing sonically.
Taki: There’s definitely a feeling though between them all. I can’t describe what it is, they all think outside the box.
My take is they’re all so authentic.
Taki: That’s the fucking word.
baby bruh: We wouldn’t just put them on because they were big or anything. It’s not about that.
Taki: If Drake reached out though obviously I’d put him on.
I love the concept of chat rooms. Chat Rooms are so interesting because they suggest, especially on Twitch, that the person engaging in the chatroom is just as important a participator of the process as the person that they’re engaging with. What structural forms of chat rooms do you see pop up on the structure of these shows? Is it the collaborative side?
Taki: The concept of it is that The Divine Chatroom is an allegory for this whole crazy entity that we are all a part of that I guess is the internet, but it’s so much more than that. There’s heaps of layers toit. A chatroom is a small scale version of the internet. Both on the creator and participation side.
baby bruh: To put it simply, we also wanted heaps of guests and chatroom really works to convey that. The overall concept on a deeper level ties around the fact we’ve definitely been obsessed with the internet since we were young.
Taki: That’s why we call it divine. Because now it’s such a weird crazy thing. The whole internet can do so much good or bad for an individual. That’s the same for the covers, it’s not necessarily things we like, it’s just what exists on the internet.
What have been your personal favourite highlights on the show? Mine has to be that Real Friend’s flip.
baby bruh: I love the too birds song we got. That song is insane, those guys are insane.
Taki: Same. I also like the Kyle Sandilands sample I put in at the end.
Words by Parry Tritsiniotis
GET TO KNOW: CRATERFACE